Making sustainability the norm rather than the exception: that’s the aim of the Dutch joint sector Agreements on Responsible Business Conduct. Companies, trade unions, civil society organisations and the Dutch government are working together to ensure respect for human rights throughout international supply chains. The Dutch trade union confederation CNV and its international department, CNV Internationaal, are actively participating in the establishment of these agreements.
Doing business in other countries entails risks. Companies can become involved – either directly or indirectly – in child labour, unsafe working conditions or pollution of the local environment. Responsible Business Conduct means it is essential for businesses to carefully map these risks in order to avoid or mitigate them. The term for this is “due diligence”, otherwise known as RBC risk management. The sector greements (also called covenants) on Responsible Business Conduct offer companies the opportunity to work together at sector level in conjunction with the government, trade unions and civil society organisations to tackle the risks to people and planet in their global value chains. The textile and garment industry was the first sector to formally join forces when its agreement was signed on 4 July 2016. The
banking sector followed suit on 28 October 2016. Other agreements are being prepared in a broad range of sectors.
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